Photographing and Fingerprinting

At the end of last year Japan set up a new immigration system where all foreigners (even those with permanent residency in Japan) get photographed and fingerprinted when entering Japanese airports. Similar to the American system.

Obviously most foreigners are a bit upset about this (me in particular as having a work visa, last time I came through immigration I could skip the “Alien” queue and go straight through with the Japanese people, it took about 2 minutes to get through as opposed to the hour long wait I had before – now I have to go back to the long queue).

This system is put in place to stop terrorists, undesirables and previously deported people coming back (I believe they’ve stopped about 30 since it’s been in place). (As an aside the only terrorist attacks in Japan so far have been by Japanese people).

I think only Japan and America have this system in place, although I was amused to hear Brazil’s reaction after America set this scheme up. They only fingerprint American’s coming into Brazil. hehe.

I was even more surprised when, recently we went to Universal Studios in Osaka, and now everyone is photographed (not just foreigners, thankfully) going in at the turnstiles. I guess this is to stop terrorists or other unwanted people too, although there was no explanation given for it.

I wonder how many other places are going to set up similar systems in the future. Going to the local library or supermarket might become a slower process.

It’s not as bad as England though, where I read that some pubs and clubs fingerprint people going on a night out!


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[…] it’s like the fingerprinting of all foreigners (or Aliens, as we are called here – something I find particularly unpleasant) at the airports […]

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